Monday July 22, 1985
Heading into a three-game series against the Orioles at the Metrodome in late July of 1985, the Twins had a record of 41-48, good for 7th in the AL West, 12 games behind division-leading California. The were fresh off losing three out of four to the Yankees at home. The Orioles came in with a 46-43 record, 4th in the AL East and 7.5 games behind Toronto.
The first game of the series came on an eventful Monday night at the Dome. The pitching matchup:
BAL Storm Davis 4-5 5.09 ERA 50 BB 50 K
MIN Mike Smithson 8-7 4.37 ERA 42 BB 69 K
As an aside, the combined heighth of the two starting pitchers was 13 feet.
The scoring started early when the O’s got to Smithson for two runs in the top of the first thanks to Eddie Murray’s two-run shot – his 14th home run of the year. The Twins made some noise in their half of the first, loading the bases only to have Randy Bush fly out to center to end the threat.
Minnesota loaded the bases again in the second inning, and this time were able to cash in. After Roy Smalley drew a walk with the bases loaded, Kent Hrbek hit a gand slam to deep center to give the Twins a 5-2 lead. It was Hrbek’s second grand slam in four games – he had hit a game-winning grand slam against the Yankees in the team’s only victory in their four-game series.
Hrbek’s slam represented the last of the Twins’ runs in the game. The Orioles chipped away with RBI singles in the sixth and seventh innings. Though they made the ballgame a one-run affair, the drama of this ballgame seemed to surround the managers. From the NYT:
Manager Earl Weaver was ejected in the third inning for arguing after Minnesota’s Randy Bush made a running catch of Fred Lynn’s line drive. Weaver spent several minutes arguing with the umpires, then, after he was ejected, marched out towards Bush in left field. Weaver was led out to the dugout by two umpires then bowed to the crowd. Minnesota manager Ray Miller announced his club would play the game under protest because his starter, Mike Smithson, was not allowed to warm up during the delay.
Ron Davis came on with two outs in the eighth inning and secured the one-run lead for the Twins, allowing the O’s only a two-out single in the ninth inning.